CDC to investigate WA myocarditis cases and possible link to COVID vaccine

The Washington State Department of Health asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send investigators after more than a dozen reports of myocarditis. The feds will investigate if the heart inflammation is being triggered by the vaccine or is just a coincidence as more people get vaccinated.

The state asked providers to be on the lookout.

“At the point, we got more than a dozen. I called the CDC and invited them in to Washington. ‘Can you come in and help us pull the medical records, review these cases?’” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington State Department of Health.

On Thursday, Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health Seattle and King County announced there were 14 cases in King County. The youngest patient is 16, and the oldest is 42. And all but two are male. “We don’t know currently if there’s a link between COVID vaccines and these cases, although that is a possibility,” said Duchin. He said most cases occurred within four days of the individual being vaccinated.

Evan Morud, 18, of Kenmore was diagnosed with myocarditis. He said it struck about 48 hours after his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“I felt like my chest was really tight, and my throat was really swollen up, like my lymph nodes and neck,” said Morud. “I was winded just standing up from a sitting position.” He had chest pains and was rushed to the emergency room at UW Medicine. He was diagnosed in the ER.

The Washington State Department of Health confirmed the number of myocarditis cases is not above the baseline the state sees each year, often triggered by a virus.

The CDC, the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and local health leaders said vaccinating your children is still the safest decision, as the impact of COVID-19 would be worse.

“These reports of potential association that have not been confirmed should not be a reason to not get their children vaccinated,” said Dr. Shireesha Dhanireddy, UW Medicine.

The CDC is sending out a pediatric cardiologist and an adult cardiologist to help examine medical records and talk to patients.